xbn .
Around the Network

CFP – Political Theology & Incarceration / Black Thought / Settler Colonialism

The journal Political Theology announces calls for papers for three special issues on (1) Incarceration, (2) Black Thought, and (3) Settler Colonialism

The journal Political Theology, published by Routledge, invites proposals for three special issues to be published in 2022. Investigating connections between religious, political, and secular thought and practice,Political Theology seeks to advance the Political Theology Network’s Points of Unity: Interdisciplinary Rigor, Interrogating Power, and an Orientation toward Justice.

Abstracts of 400 words can be sent to Dr. Richard Kent Evans (rkevans@haverford.edu) by August 25, 2020. Those invited to submit full papers for peer review will have a February 25, 2021 deadline for paper submission.

You can find more information on each special issue below.


Incarceration and Political Theology | Edited by Joshua Dubler and Rachelle Green

We invite submissions for a special issue focused on religion, incarceration and decarceration. The task at hand is, at once, political, theological, and practical. We hope to explore how theological and secularized theological concepts, along with religious and spiritual practices, inform, articulate, mutually reinforce, and potentially interrupt the ideologies and practices of human caging. How might theological discourses and religious practices help to prefigure a world without prisons? In order for prisons to cease to exist, what systems, theologies, and practices must crumble?

Our questions are theoretical: how do theological logics undergird carceral logics and how, during the era of mass incarceration in particular, are American theologies themselves desperately in need of decareration? We welcome explorations of these logics in particular religious and secular texts and traditions, and welcome in particular genealogical investigations of theological-juridical concepts like guilt, punishment, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, and transformation, which circulate both in Sunday sermons and parole board hearings.

Our questions are also then quite practical: how, as scholars, teachers, and other practitioners who move in carceral spaces, are we to navigate between care and complicity? What images from religious texts, theological concepts, histories of community involvement do practitioners use to sustain this work?  Whether religious or secular, what models are available for conceptualizing working relationships within carceral institutions that resist the dominant carceral logics? What does an abolitionist politics look like inside prisons and jails, as practiced by incarcerated people or by staff or volunteers? Inasmuch as even in its secularist expressions, abolitionism resonates in an eschatological key, we hope to harvest theological ideas and religious practices that begin to manifest within the carceral order latent abolitionist potentialities.

We welcome papers that address political theology and incarceration in interdisciplinary and international perspectives. We also enthusiastically invite submissions from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated contributors. 


Black Thought and Political Theology | Edited by Danube Johnson and Roberto Sirvent

We invite submissions at the intersections of Black thought and political-theological discourse. Our task is to examine how the interventions posed by Black studies and Afro-pessimism affirm, complicate, or upend notions associated with what has been called “political theology.” What does messianic time mean for the Black subject, who is always-already constituted by the afterlife of slavery, precluded from the normative temporality of “Man?” If Blackness itself is an ongoing crisis to the Western political imaginary, what utility, if any, does “crisis” serve in articulating socio-political disorder? What new vocabularies could be generated if we divested from utopia and the fantasy of sovereignty? How do we give a grammar to the illegible condition of Black fugitivity?

We are especially enthusiastic about papers that engage the work of groundbreaking theorists in Black thought like Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, Jared Sexton, Christina Sharpe, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Hortense Spillers, Calvin Warren, Frank Wilderson, and Sylvia Wynter. We further encourage submissions to engage central themes in Black studies like pessimism, nihilism, apocalypse, and global formations of race and racialization. Special consideration will be given to papers that develop these ideas in conjunction with critiques of sex, gender, patriarchy, and settler colonialism.

Submissions accepted will be collated into a special double issue of Political Theology, featuring responses from Denise Ferreira da Silva and Frank Wilderson.


Settler Colonialism and Political Theology | Edited by Dana Lloyd and Jan Pranger

Weinvite submissions an the intersections of political theology and settler colonial studies. Political theology investigates connections between religious and political ideas and practices in today’s world. It particularly interrogates, contests, and constructively reimagines the relationship between religion and politics in discourses on modernity that organize these fields by means of binary oppositions between religious and secular, or private and public. The study of settler colonialism, as initiated in works by Patrick Wolfe, Lorenzo Veracini, Edward Cavanagh, etc., and as distinct from colonial, imperial, and postcolonial studies, explores colonial formations in which groups of exogenous colonists take political and economic control of a territory and seek to eliminate and replace Indigenous populations. Understanding these colonial formations as structures rather than discrete events, settler colonial studies critically investigate the ideological, social, legal, economic, and political structures that enable and support settler colonial formations historically and in the present. 

This special issue of Political Theology explores how and where political theology and the study of settler colonialism intersect, and how the cross-fertilization between these areas of study can generate new approaches in both. How can the critical engagement of ongoing settler colonial structures contribute to decolonial political and religious discourses and practices for greater racial, economic, ecological, and gendered justice between and among Native peoples and settlers? What politics should guide the future of the deeply unequal and historically traumatic relationships between Native peoples and the settler presence? How can Indigenous epistemologies and cosmologies challenge, or unsettle, theo-political discourses on sovereignty, exception, futurity, (sacred) place, and ecology?

We invite submissions exploring the intersection of political theology and settler colonialism in all religious and geographical contexts. Submissions accepted will be collated into a special issue of Political Theology, featuring responses from George (Tink) Tinker, Jasbir Puar, and others.

Like what you're reading?

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This

Share this post with your friends!